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Thursday, April 15, 2021
MRC Again Whines About Babylon Bee Getting Fact-Checked ... While It Fact-Checks A Satirical Headline
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to complain that fact-checkers look askance at right-wing satire site Babylon Bee even though it fact-checks jokes. And it can't stop doing either.

A Feb. 18 post by Corinne Weaver complained:

Satire is not meant to be taken seriously. Yet Big Tech and its tools find a way to label any humor coming from the right as disinformation or fake news. 

The Babylon Bee has been repeatedly victimized by this tug of war. In a public history page known as a “Talk” page on Wikipedia, editors with anonymous tags or usernames discussed whether or not the conservative satire site could “legally be considered ‘satire’?” The alleged Twitter account for Bee managing editor Joel Berry tweeted a thread about this Wikipedia incident on Feb. 18. 

“There has been an ongoing effort to classify The Babylon Bee as ‘disinformation’ rather than satire,” reportedly said Berry. “They desperately want The Babylon Bee to be censored. I wonder why… .”

This was followed on March 21 with Clay Waters whining that the New York Times waslooking into the Bee:

The headline at the New York Times, was promising: “For Political Cartoonists, the Irony Was That Facebook Didn’t Recognize Irony -- As Facebook has become more active at moderating political speech, it has had trouble dealing with satire.” It appeared on the front of Saturday’s Business Day section as “Facebook Just Does Not Get Satire.”

Would it be a long-overdue defense of the Babylon Bee, which has suffered instances of “moderation” in the form of ham-handed censorship from Facebook, blocking a Babylon Bee story claiming a Democratic senator had accused Amy Coney Barrett of witchcraft during her Senate hearings? 

Of course not. In fact, technology reporter Mike Isaac uncorked another Times attack on the satire site, again ludicrously attacking it as “misinformation,” an angle the paper would never consider with the leftist satire of The Onion.

Isaac flattered these crude cartoonists as sophisticated ironists, revealing that the only social media censorship the paper disapproves of is when left-wingers get clipped, although such squelching happens on a regular basis to the right.

What the MRC doesn't want to tell you is that right-wingers -- even Donald Trump and Ted Cruz -- tweet the alleged satire at the Babylon Bee as real news -- much more than liberals are prone to treating anything from the Onion as real -- and that's why it gets fact-checked as "news."

Of course, the MRC's complaining wouldn't matter if it didn't do what it attacked others for doing. But it does, which is why we have a March 11 post by P.J. Gladnick complaining about an obviously hyperbolic headline in Vanity Fair:

Sorry, Vanity Fair. We know you want to get eyeballs on your site but publishing a completely fake news headline is not the way to go.

Since Vanity Fair is no Babylon Bee it doesn't even have the excuse of pretending to be satire, especially since the article below the headline is dead serious. "LINDSEY GRAHAM: I’M WILLING TO OVERLOOK THE FACT THAT TRUMP HAS PROBABLY BEATEN A FEW HOMELESS PEOPLE TO DEATH."

Nowhere in the rather angry Tuesday article by Bess Levin is there even a hint of what is absurdly proclaimed in the headline.

In addition, the Axios On HBO video upon which she bases her story also has nothing about what Graham supposedly claimed in the fake news headline. She could only claim "Lindsey Graham, though, is not like most people, which is why he‘s apparently willing to overlook the fact that Donald Trump is a remorseless monster."

Okay, we get it, Bess. You really, really hate Trump. However, does that excuse Vanity Fair putting a fake news headline on your story? 


So where is the part where Graham stated, as claimed in the headline, that he is willing to overlook that Trump has probably beaten a few homeless people to death? Oh, it is not true? So Vanity Fair, by putting that in their headline, is guilty of... FAKE NEWS.

Satire may be in the eye of the beholder, but it appears lack of humor about satire is as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EDT

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